Chloe Schibeci reviews the Darwin clash between Parramatta and North Queensland, where the Cowboys dominated and put themselves in the top four.
North Queensland Cowboys 35
Tries: Kyle Feldt 3 (30, 37, 57), Tom Dearden (74), Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (77), Scott Drinkwater (78)
Goals: Valentine Holmes 5 (16 – pen, 32, 39, 40, 77, 79)
One-Point Field Goal: Valentine Holmes (39)
It was a hot night in Darwin when the Eels and the Cowboys played to round out Super Saturday. North Queensland’s Chad Townsend was celebrating his 200th NRL game, remaining hopeful for a victory to celebrate the milestone game.
Both North Queensland and the Parramatta Eels were looking strong and competitive to start the first half, with the first points not coming until Valentine Holmes kicked a penalty goal 16 minutes in. Both teams had opportunities to score points, however the strength in defence prevented those points from being scored until later on.
At first, it was the Eels dominating, putting all the pressure on the Cowboys. But after an unsuccessful Captain’s Challenge from the Eels, North Queensland found themselves in possession, and Kyle Feldt scored the first try of the night with just 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
Only six minutes later, Kyle Feldt scored a second try for the Cowboys, who were starting to assert dominance and finally take advantage of their opportunities. To round out the first half, Holmes kicked a field goal, giving North Queensland a 15 point lead, leaving the Eels scratching their heads on how to make their second half performance better and put themselves back in the contest.
HALF-TIME: Parramatta Eels 0 North Queensland Cowboys 15
The Cowboys completely dominated the second half. Had the Parramatta Eels been awarded all of their tries, there may have been more of a contest, however they were only able to put four points on the board after two tries were disallowed after interjection from the Bunker. Those four points came from Hayze Perham with 17 minutes remaining.
Meanwhile, the Cowboys held onto their lead, keeping up their strong defence, not allowing the Parramatta Eels to capitalise on any opportunities they were given throughout the second half. They were really strong and cohesive, easily their best defensive effort of 2022 so far.
After their second half defensive effort, the Cowboys managed to also score another three tries in the final minutes. Tom Dearden, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, and Scott Drinkwater scored one after the other, two minutes apart for the final six minutes.
The Parramatta Eels unfortunately let their frustration get the better of them, particularly in the second half. Any opportunities they were given went to waste, costing them a chance against a strong Cowboys outfit.
North Queensland put in a really solid effort against the Parramatta Eels, establishing themselves as one of the best defensive teams currently in the competition. This win solidified the Cowboys’ spot in the top four on the NRL ladder.
FULL-TIME: Parramatta Eels 4 North Queensland Cowboys 35
PLAYER OF THE YEAR POINTS
3 pts – Valentine Holmes (Cowboys), 2 pts – Kyle Feldt (Cowboys), 1 pt – Jason Taumalolo (Cowboys)
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